Faction skis

About the company

From their website:
“When we founded Faction, our manifesto was (and continues to be) to build the best high performance skis we can, without compromise. Our focus is on providing versatile, progressive products that answer the needs of freestyle and freeride skiers – designed by riders, for riders.”

General information is available here.

My summary

    From what’s available on line, its hard not to be impressed by this company:
    “What you do comes back to you! The Echo Initiative is a promise that we at The Faction Collective have made to each other, and to you. Our commitment to the environment, and to reducing the impact we have on the environment over the entire life cycle of our products and recycling of old skis from manufacture, to shipping, to office supplies and power, to the final stages of a ski’s life”.

    With a commitment to using lower impact and natural materials wherever possible, attention to the carbon footprint of the product, and the introduction of a ski recycle scheme (currently just in Europe) it seems that Faction is seriously attempting to walk the talk on sustainability. I couldn’t find information on exactly where the skis are made or working conditions at their facilities.

    In addition, they are a small player, with a strong commitment to making a good product and staying close to their community, something which certainly doesn’t apply to some of the mega-brand names.


    Sustainability criteria:

    • reporting framework: how does the company benchmark what it does/ reports? Does it use one of the international accredited systems

    The company is starting to benchmark and then attempt to reduce the impact overall of their operations. They also have a bigger perspective on the impacts of the industry:

    “Ski areas cut down trees for trails invading the habitat of local wildlife, sweating sunscreen covered upright beasts converge on the wilderness leaving all sorts of trash behind, and the production of skis, while only a fraction of the global damage to the ozone, leaves noxious gases and chemicals behind. Not to mention all the burnt fuel pouring into the air from the skiers’ choice SUV barrelling towards the hill.

    To this end we have commenced monitoring and improving our business practices and the practices of our suppliers and customers.”

    They have set a series of targets for the coming year, including ensuring their production follows all ISO 14001 regulatory standards.

    • information on resources used  – recycled materials, use of renewable materials, etc

    “Our design and manufacturing process is centred around the idea of ‘responsibility’. In Manufacturing, this means selecting FSC controlled regrowth forests for our cores”.

    In 2010 they want to have increased use of bamboo for cores. “Bamboo is light, strong and grows quicker than traditional woods, reducing the impact of large scale forresting”.

    • energy consumption & carbon dioxide emissions
    • distance travelled

    The company has been considering how to reduce the carbon footprint of their products: “Bulk shipping to centralised distribution agencies reduces (the) impact of many smaller shipments”.

    • waste generated
    • water consumption
    • working conditions

    The company is based in Verbier, Switzerland and appears to make their product there. No information about working conditions available at this point.

    • other environmental claims or benefits

    They use “water-based inks in our topsheets rather than UV cured inks”.

    They are involved in attempting to raise ‘end-user’ awareness by partnering with local environment groups to help suggest ways people can reduce their impact on the environment at their local resort.

    They have also introduced a pilot program to recycle old skis in Verbier, Switzerland, for the collection and recycling of old skis, any brand, any condition. The skis are taken apart, the steel edges melted down and sold back to industry to be re-forged, the rest of the skis are ground and used as concrete filler in local construction. We are currently in discussion with a firm in the USA to commence recycling there as well.

    • details on who stocks the item/ where to find it/ where to get further information

    Check here for local dealers/ retailers.

    Check here for their manifesto.

    There is an interview with one of the founders, Tony McWilliam in Snowaction magazine, Vol 14, no 1, 2010.


    One Response to Faction skis

    1. As a winter sports company focused on reducing impact on users and the environment, we especially enjoyed this article. It is always interesting to see how far back a company can go in the supply chain to help minimize the overall carbon footprint of the product. Also, the transparency is a big deal at a time when many companies publish “green” claims with little more than a package to back it up. Thanks for the educational article!

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